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Church on the river
First church 1950s. Picture by Boonserm Satrabhaya

Western history is the history of settlers from mainly Europe and the US in Chiang Mai and North Thailand. In many cases these were either missionaries or people who worked for the companies that were involved in teak logging in North Thailand. Companies like the Dutch East Indies Company never made it to Chiang Mai which was very isolated until the railway line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai opened in 1922. Travel to Chiang Mai went by river. Some of the first travellers who made it to what was known at that time as the “Tai States” were British and came from the areas in Lower Burma that were controlled by Britain. Between 1830 and 1839 there were several expeditions led by Dr.Richardson and Captain McLeod that reached Chiang Mai and other parts of North Thailand. The Bowring Treaty of 1855 opened the door for further Western influence. British, French and Danish logging companies obtained concessions in the teak forests of North Thailand. In 1867 American missionary McGilvary founded the Laos Mission in Chiang Mai. We feature tours focusing on Western History.